Review – The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1 (DC)
Writer(s): Scott Snyder & James Tynon IV
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Colours: Dave Stewart
Lettering: Sal Cipriano
Release Date: 13th March 2019 2019
“There was never a murderous clown, though he remembered killing a man in a red hood…”
Such a simple line speaks volumes about the Grim Knight. He is more than a Batman who kills, more than a Batman with guns. Ruthlessly efficient at taking on, or rather, killing crime, the Grim Knight is a very recent addition to the bloodthirsty tales spawned by the Metal series. Having been briefly introduced as a sidekick of sorts to the Batman Who Laughs, this side issue gives us the origin of what could so easily have been a cheap throwaway Punisher rip-off
As the titular Grim Knight carries out his task escorting Jim Gordon towards whatever grizzly fate is planned for him we come to know how – and more importantly why – this parody of the Caped Crusader came to be. A subtle twist in the familiar origin story sets everything in motion and we see Bruce Wayne adopt his alter ego with a far, far more aggressive stance – but no less determined or considered. Just because the Grim Knight blows things up (which he does, often) doesn’t mean he comes across as a wildly violent maniac. At least not quite, and certainly not in comparison to his twisted ally.
We do see a slight departure from Jock’s twisted, blood-fuelled style presented in the Laughs series so far as Eduardo Risso takes over art duties here. His slightly cleaner more classic style is no less appropriate and much like the Grim Knight oozes a pragmatic aggression. The whole thing is menacing.
From a continuity point of view it would seem this one-shot issue runs parallel, more or less, with Batman who Laughs #3. We’ll have to wait for issue #4 to see exactly where it lines up, but fans of these alternate universe crossover shenanigans are pretty used to wonky continuity vs publication order.
It seems to me there’s a hint of a conflict to come between our Grim Knight and the Batman who Laughs, and it’s hard to tell if we’ll get more issues of this spinoff-from-a-spinoff in the future or just keep chugging along with the main storyline.
Regardless, I’m eagerly awaiting the continuation. If you like twisted Bat tales with added brutality, this is definitely for you.
The writer of this piece was: Alex McElhinney
Alex Tweets from @UnicronsBeard
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